Development of the CHARIOT research register for the prevention of Alzheimer's dementia and other late onset neurodegenerative diseases

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© 2015 Larsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Identifying cognitively healthy people at high risk of developing dementia is an ever-increasing focus. These individuals are essential for inclusion in observational studies into the natural history of the prodromal and early disease stages and for interventional studies aimed at prevention or disease modification. The success of this research is dependent on having access to a well characterised, representative and sufficiently large population of individuals. Access to such a population remains challenging as clinical research has, historically, focussed on patients with dementia referred to secondary and tertiary services. The primary care system in the United Kingdom allows access to a true prodromal population prior to symptoms emerging and specialist referral. We report the development and recruitment rates of the CHARIOT register, a primary care-based recruitment register for research into the prevention of dementia. The CHARIOT register was designed specifically to support recruitment into observational natural history studies of pre-symptomatic or prodromal dementia stages, and primary or secondary prevention pharmaceutical trials or other prevention strategies for dementia and other cognitive problems associated with ageing. Methods: Participants were recruited through searches of general practice lists across the west and central London regions. Invitations were posted to individuals aged between 60 and 85 years, without a diagnosis of dementia. Upon consent, a minimum data set of demographic and contact details was extracted from the patient's electronic health record. Results: To date, 123 surgeries participated in the register, recruiting a total of 24,509 participants-a response rate of 22.3%. The age, gender and ethnicity profiles of participants closely match that of the overall eligible population. Higher response rates tended to be associated with larger practices (r = 0.34), practices with a larger older population (r = 0.27), less socioeconomically disadvantaged practices (r = 0.68), and practices with a higher proportion of White patients (r = 0.82). Discussion: Response rates are comparable to other registers reported in the literature, and indicate good interest and support for a research register and for participation in research for the prevention of age-related neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. We consider that the simplicity of the approach means that this system is easily scalable and replicable across the UK and internationally.




Larsen, M. E., Curry, L., Mastellos, N., Robb, C., Car, J., & Middleton, L. T. (2015). Development of the CHARIOT research register for the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia and other late onset neurodegenerative diseases. PLoS ONE, 10(11).

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